Stream Of Commute
Working like a champ right now, but in the meantime, some thoughts jotted down while on the morning commute...
no direct wmd threat, or why not the urgency to find weapons? if these weapons really exist, why aren't we more concerned about where they are?
Rollo May's quote about total certainty, admission of doubt, and President Lincoln. For how can President Bush be so sure if the intelligence itself makes (doubt acknowledged) interpretative assertions? "what" is he so sure about? shouldn't some element of doubt have been acknowledged all along, rather than snuck in at this late stage of the game, after one's bets have not come in, one's chickens not come home to roost? isn't Wolfowitz himself running around calling intelligence an "art", rather than "science"?
(The psychologist Rollo May writes of the danger of fanaticism, in its total assuredness and lack of acknowledgement of any doubts, and how this makes him feel uneasy, unlike Abe Lincoln's style, which acknowledged doubts, but remained committed to the course regardless - he then notes that those who are too sure should almost readily be suspected from the outset, as with Shakespeare, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much". More on this later.)
European Constitution seems to be a great step forward. I'd love to know how they're handling the freedom of information. Also, it seems that Turkey has stepped up and passed serious democratic reforms in regards primarily to their Kurdish minority. This is good news both in relation to the war, where at one point it seemed the Kurds could be screwed again, and to the power and influence of European Union, as it is their doing that has caused Turkey to mind their p's and q's in order to get into the EU. Though we couldn't get Turkey to help in the war (and shouldn't have since their people were so uniformly against it), the EU has been able to get Turkey, through lure of membership and community, to play their way. This is power people. I'd say the old Europe is doing just fine.
And the biggest irony is that Europe did it by the means and wherewithal of inclusion and respect for democracy, while we failed to persuade or coerce Turkey in direct defiance of the democratic wishes of their people.
EPA editing, science, risk and reward, threat assessment, cynically manipulating science to overstate risk and threat in some areas and understate or question it in others. This is typical stuff by the Right. You must without a shadow of a doubt know the truth through science in order to further any environmental regulation, even though the tremendous threats and risks are acknowledged (but downplayed), but when it comes to declaring war and dealing with the resulting new fog of threats and risks, it's okay to overplay the known and current threats and risks, regardless of the veracity of the information or proof to justify it. Hyprocrisy! (And art trumps science?)
Republican efforts to "eat in" to Democrat leaders. LIke Clinton, and now Davis, interfering in very important matters of state, in which serious negotiations are taking place in various things, which at best require power and perceived power, and if you are knocking them down, you knock us all down, and hurt governance, negotiations and diplomacy. like now, with Gray Davis, trying to cut deals about the energy crisis, and how we got screwed, instead the Republicans are undercutting him, and giving hope to who we are negotiating with in terms of there being new leadership who may seek to gain instant political capital by cutting a deal, no matter how good the deal ends up being. this is done solely through the expenditure of money. there would be no recall without issa spending all of his money on it. there is no outcry for this, and certainly no wrongdoing as in the case of Clinton, minor as his lies may have been.
Bottom-line: what are the Republicans doing to fight for California's interests when we got screwed by the energy industry after Bush came into power? Nothing. They are merely capitalizing on the political capital they can get from it, by spinning it negatively in regards to Gray Davis, and then spending a bunch of money for a frivolous recall noone cares about so they can sneak into power that way. It's tawdry. Shameful actually. Fight for California, not against it!
Geez, and little do they realize it will be Jerry Brown or some other very progressive candidate who will win the recall election. People will be pissed, and the vast majority of them are not Republican, and will not appreciate punks trying to do a takeover of the state by gross expenditure of money and cynical debasement of our mechanisms of government.